Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Curtain, Lights: 7:00 pm at the "World's Most Famous Arena" (cough, cough - not because of you, Rangers - cough cough) on RDS, actual full nation TSN, and the MSG network. Habs have actually won three of four, while the Rangers have taken three straight.
Names above the marquee: Do you get the feeling PK would be on a Times Square billboard already if he wore a Ranger's jersey? At the very least Don Cherry would love his moxie rather than call him uppity. Eyes are on him and the Whizzer (6 points in 6 games as a Hab) as nearly the last men standing on the Habs blueline. Scott Gomez (he of the 13 points in his last 12 - it's true!) returns to where he signed his massive contract in the first place. He should be up for this. All Star Carey Price is always center stage because this team can't score, but it looks like understudy Alex Auld goes tonight. Understudy Lars Eller also gets a game in place of lead tenor Squid. For the Rangers, Brandon Dubinsky is the new Ron Duguay, leading the team in scoring and swooning ladies in the crowd. Marian Gaborik is ever dangerous but currently ice cold. All Star King Henrik Lundqvist remains one of the NHL's best and All Star Marc Staal is quickly becoming a game-changer on defence.
Bit players: Rangers made a move for some offence to cover for the season ending injury of Alex Frolov by acquiring Wojtek Wolski for "much-maligned" defender Michael Rosival. With all New York's injuries, guys like rookie Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov have been getting some valuable minutes. Captain Chris Drury will never live up to his contract (signed the same day as Gomez) but Rangers fans seem to have accepted him. Habs need much more from supposed headliners Pleks and Big Tits; both are in prolonged slumps and there isn't a lot of help coming from the bottom two lines so it's far more noticeable.
Your understudies will be: Weber is in because Markov and Gorges are out for the year. Eller is back in as Squid fights off "flu-like" symptoms. Rangers could cast an entire production with their injury list, as Vinny Prospal, Derek Boogard, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen and Alex Frolov are all definitely out, and former Habs first-rounder Ryan McDonagh is questionable. Wolkski may have to play defence and wing to make up the shortfall.
Playing the fool as always: Sean Avery. Still around, still an asshole. Sigh.
Scathing reviews courtesy of: Interesting look at the business of hockey through the Rangers over at BlueSeatsBlog. Wait, there's a blog that isn't run by snarky, photoshopping weirdos with a penchant for swearing? Yep. Good for them.
Aprés show entertainment: Um, it's New York. If you can't find something to do aprés show in New Freaking York, I can't help you.